Princess Diana’s beauty was one of rare form.
In contrast today’s glam squads that piece together celebs as if assembling Ikea furniture, the People’s Princess radiated a kind of beauty that was evident without even trying.
Like a true icon of inspiration (in fashion, beauty, and beyond), the princess’ style is one that has generated a bevy of copycat looks over the years with so many wishing to emulate the same beauty. However, the secret behind the princess’ beauty doesn’t lie in lipstick colors or blush shades, rather her secret stems from an amalgamation of organic internal and external beauty that made every look shine. “I wouldn’t say one look defined her, I would say every look defined her” says Mary Greenwell, the princess’ longtime friend and trusted makeup artist. Greenwell, who began doing makeup on accident when she was just 21 years old, was enlisted by the princess after meeting on a magazine shoot to revamp her image. As two lovers of makeup, the duo created some of the most iconic royal looks to date, and the rest is pretty much history.
Here, CR catches up with the acclaimed makeup artist on working with Diana, her time in the makeup chair, and just why the princess has remained a pillar of fixation for so many for so long.
CR: Who were some of your makeup role models growing up?
MG: “I didn’t really have any because I didn’t really get into makeup until I was 23. I would probably say ‘50s and ’60s movie stars. I think the ‘60s were very much the influence of my life, I love a ‘60s look. I love the Brigitte Bardot look a lot, so that would’ve been a role model look and the ‘50s ones, the gorgeous dark mouth and nothing on the eye– that would be a great look too.”
CR: What stimulated you to want to make people be more beautiful?
MG: “Because I’ve never wanted to make them look ugly, one. Two, I think that is what makeup is all about– only enhancement, as far as I’m concerned. It’s literally about making people feel better in their own skin. So, that’s my love of makeup, to enhance.”
CR: Getting into your work with Diana, how did you get that amazing job?
MG: “I met her with Patrick Demarchelier when we were doing a Vogue cover, when Anna Harvey was styling her for British Vogue. When we were invited to the studio they said– “I’m sorry we can’t tell you who the client is, so just look smart that day.” So I walked out with my makeup looking smart as I normally would do, of course. We met in like a very strange way, you didn’t know who entirely was in the studio, it was all very hush, hush and then she walked out. So that’s how it all happened.“
CR: She loved what you did with her and you continued to work with her?
MG: “I guess so. She loved what I did, she loved the pictures, she loved Patrick, she loved Anna Harvey, she loved me. It was all so natural and relaxed, easy and free. We had a really lovely day and consequently, we all got along really well. She was divine and open, and open to change, and it was just a very easy day.”
CR: What was your favorite thing about her?
A: “My favorite thing about her was that she was incredibly relaxed. She had beautiful skin and the most amazing limbs and legs. She was like a deer, kind of floated in and out of situations. And she was at this lovely perfect porcelain skin, it was kind of lovely, flesh, glowing and could take makeup very well. She had wonderful eyes and features that we just enhanced.”
CR: What looks do you think framed her at her fullest?
MG: “I think that she wore makeup extremely well. I think every look was part of her. With that said, one of her most classic looks was when she went to Met Gala in New York wearing a John Galliano dress. I think that was a very beautiful look. Also when she was wore the dress to the Serpentine Gallery party, when she was wearing an off-shoulder dress, it was very short on one side and the other was full-on suppertime black dress. But you know what, she wore makeup so well, it was so easy to do her and so easy to be relaxed with her. So I wouldn’t say one look defined her, I would say every look defined her.”
CR: Was there anything she preferred specifically?
MG: “She was very open to change and open to discussion, very open to trying new things. She loved makeup, she loved experimenting. So I wouldn’t say any one look defined her, but I would say she was definitely better in more of a dark kind of subtle mouth than in a red mouth for example.”
CR: Do you know what features she favored most when it came to makeup?
MG: “Eyes. She had the most incredible eyes. They were so charismatic, I mean, she was very charismatic, obviously. she had the most wonderful eyes, they were so revealing and open. So, to do her eyes was probably the best things you could draw on. She also had a wondrous mouth, but her eyes really said it all.”
CR: Did she always come into the makeup chair with what she wanted, or was this something that was decided after?
MG: “No, she was very free, very easy going. So basically, we discussed what event she was going to, and then you worked from there. So there was no idea, she would never. She wasn’t like someone who’d been around for 20 years and say “I want this I want that,” she was very open to everything. She was young and free, open and free, so it was just a very relaxed approach to her makeup.”
CR: When you’re in the makeup chair, you’d have so many conversations and things like that. What was your favorite thing to talk about? Was there anything you always remember talking about with her in the chair?
MG: “I used to go over to her home in Kensington Palace, just because she wanted company and because we could do that. I lived very near Kensington Palace, so I could just hang out with her and do looks with her, the kids would be on her lap. It was a very easy time where it was so relaxed, and she used to have me come over and hang out.”
CR: As we all have these special products with you for so many years, was there anything she couldn’t live without, like had to always have on.
MG: “Well you know what, I have to say this is 20 years ago, and products have changed so much, there’s nothing I can say now that I can remember I was always using on her. Mascara was always super important, she liked loads of mascara; obviously great foundation and skincare. She looked after her skin very well. She was extremely good at taking care of herself. Products have changed so much in the last 20 years, it’s insane. What I would use then would just be outdated.”
CR: With Diana once again re-surging as this topic of inspiration, have you seen the new season of Netflix’s The Crown?
MG: “We all love Diana, I just feel very sensitive for the way that now the royal family is being exposed unjustifiably.”
CR: So, why do you think Diana has stayed this everlasting pillar of inspiration, this absolute icon, for so many years?
MG: “First of all she was incredibly kind, she was very open-minded. She was very generous in spirit, that is a fact. And she was one of the first woman to ever hug an AIDS-victim in public. She changed the aspect of how we saw HIV. She was incredibly generous that way, that you could not catch AIDS by hugging someone, she made that very clear. So I love all her charity work, her work in exposing the wrong and right with humanity, she was a very kind good person. So on that level, I do understand why she’s still so iconic, and why everyone loves her. Nothing against the royal family, but in a very institutional world she was a breath of fresh air.”END
prev link: https://www.crfashionbook.com/beauty/a34846960/revealing-princess-dianas-ultimate-beauty-secret/
createdAt:Wed, 02 Dec 2020 14:28:15 +0000
displayType:Long Form Article